Soaking with the Masses @ Jerry Johnson Hot Springs in Idaho

8.10.2006

Source 2, Pool 2

General Description
Three sources, each with their own soaking opportunities, feature pools with rock walls, some with sandy clear bottoms and some with silt. The 1st of 3 sources, known as the waterfall pools, are submerged until late summer (early August), while the other 2 sources have pools that are available for soaking year-round.


Source 1, Pool 1

Seasonal Notes
The waterfall pools from the 1st (of 3) source are best during late summer... they are submerged during spring runoff. Nighttime closure is currently in effect due to overuse and abuse problems stemming from nearby MT colleges that made JJ a party destination. Open from 6am to 8pm.


Source 1 Overhead

Camping Notes
Official campground near the trailhead along with many other nearby official campgrounds and primitive sites nearby. No camping at the hot springs - nighttime closure in effect.


Warm Springs Trail Pack Bridge

Trip Report
Three years later I returned to JJ in hopes of qualifying the waterfall pools... well... almost! I was able to withstand a few minutes with my back to the hot waterfall before heading on to qualify pools from the remaining two sources. My friend and I broke camp at 4am and were at the hot springs no later than 5am. Within 10 minutes of our arrival the crowds started to trickle in. Even though JJ is only a 1 mile flat hike, nudity is the norm here. I was surprised that there was no signs warning would be soakers of oncoming nudity - as most roadside or near roadside hot soaks do.


Signage

There was a blend of locals from Missoula, MT and travelers at JJ. The new JJ official campground is now open, and is the only campground along highway 12 without shade. This time of the year shade is most definitely a requirement. I had a great time enjoying the pools and some light banter with fellow soakers... three years has been too long.
Rating A

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